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December 24, 2008
The Lackawanna Cut-Off
A glance will show / Why Phoebe Snow / Prefers this route / To Buffalo.
And Phoebe's right / No route is quite / As short as Road / of Anthracite.


In 1908 the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad began work on the New Jersey Cut-Off to make its New York to Buffalo mainline (the Road of Anthracite so liked by Phoebe Snow) even shorter and faster. It was to have no grade crossings, and was to be as straight and level as possible — through hilly terrain. The 28-mile Lackawanna Cut-Off, as it is now known, was built over three years, cost $11 million, and was an engineering marvel of massive reinforced concrete bridges, enormous cuts, and the largest railroad embankment in the world. All of this has been abandoned for years, though there are plans afoot to restore the Cut-Off for commuter rail. [more inside]
posted by parudox at 11:35 PM PST - 17 comments

Won't Somebody Think of the Children?
Lies We Tell Kids
posted by Navelgazer at 10:21 PM PST - 157 comments

Pictures of a changing planet
Up in the Air. The aerial photography of Alex MacLean.
posted by homunculus at 8:44 PM PST - 12 comments

Soupy twist!
Before moving on to House (Laurie) and being bloody awesome (Fry), even before Jeeves and Wooster, but after Blackadder I think, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry appeared in an amazing sketch show called A Bit of Fry and Laurie. Fry, in particular, has a way of taking any bit of linguistic madness at all and turning it into something that sounds almost respectable.
To start off, these are calculated to make your brain explode: Tricky Linguistics and Part 2, Buying an Engagement Ring, and The Haircut [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 8:03 PM PST - 46 comments

Christmas at the BFI
Christmas in the London Blitz, 1940; Making Christmas Crackers, 1910; Santa Claus, 1898; Christmas is coming, 1951: short films from the British Film Institute's wonderful Youtube Channel (including excellent playlists), which you can also explore through Google Earth using the kmz file found here.
posted by Rumple at 7:13 PM PST - 4 comments

Japanese cat food commercials
Japanese cat food commercials: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
posted by needled at 6:59 PM PST - 24 comments

The Baddest Bull You've Ever Seen...
Meet Bodacious, dubbed 'The World's Most Dangerous Bull', only six cowboys managed to last the required 8 seconds on his back. He was one hell of a tough ride. Primus even wrote a song for him on their Antipop album called Ballad of Bodacious. [more inside]
posted by flipyourwig at 6:48 PM PST - 10 comments

Educative and informat-ta-tive
Would you care to relax in the bosom of my family this christmas? Freed from the formality of working life? Christmas Tidings from Mr. Cholmondley-Warner and Grayson (SLHEYT) [more inside]
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:39 PM PST - 2 comments

Adobecards
Adobecards - an aesthetic Flash-based advertisement for a new Adobe product
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:13 PM PST - 29 comments

Animal Specimens.
Animals In Formalin Preservation. That is all.
posted by gman at 4:57 PM PST - 15 comments

"It's not got any dots on it. I'm a professional!"
A SLYT Christmas gift for anglophile rock nerds worldwide: The Trial Of Ralph McTell, a sketch from the British comedy show French and Saunders featuring Dave Gilmour, Mark King, Lemmy Kilmister, Mark Kuh-nop-fler and others. (previous) [more inside]
posted by spoobnooble at 2:28 PM PST - 8 comments

Pipe Cleaner Pixels
Artist Devorah Sperber works with "low-tech pixels": maptacks, marker caps, chenille stems, flower-power stickers, and spools of thread. via
posted by Knappster at 2:03 PM PST - 9 comments

games people play, for free
95 Old School Games You Can Play Online: Every game is reviewed and rated. Includes a link to every game on the list, a visual and mini description and how each one is played. [Bonus, some links at the bottom of the page to more games].
posted by nickyskye at 12:41 PM PST - 47 comments

Why I Hate Christmas
"Modern Christmas is like primitive Keynesianism, a short-run-oriented economic experiment that has been tried and found wanting." Economist James S. Henry weighs in on "Why the Grinch has it right."
posted by nasreddin at 12:10 PM PST - 58 comments

One Chants Out Between Two Worlds
Let's Rock Mashed In Plastic is a double album of mashups featuring music and audio from David Lynch's filmed work. Standouts, for me: "The Voice of Love Is Crying" and "The Elephant Connection".
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:33 AM PST - 3 comments

Henchmen Cancun '08, sadly, shall never be
Merry Christmas from Henchmen 21 & 24. The annual Venture Bros. Christmas song from Quickstop Entertainment. (Previously and previously)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:13 AM PST - 24 comments

Faith in the End Zone
Cheering for the othe side From the story: "They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas. It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through. Did you hear that? The other team's fans?" A feel good story for the holidays.
posted by sierray at 9:33 AM PST - 34 comments

Is Big Brother's little cousin willing to blink?
In a move applauded by some internet privacy advocates, Yahoo will retain personally identifiable search information for only 90 days. This places it above competitors Google and Microsoft in terms of protecting user privacy. Congressional representatives are taking notice, but others criticize Yahoo's method of preserving user anonymity as not enough, hearkening back to AOL's massive data leak in 2006.
posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 9:32 AM PST - 11 comments

The Solar Connection
Rethinking Earthrise. On the 40th anniversary of the NASA's Apollo 8 mission [caution: weird JFK animation], which answered Stewart Brand's epochal, LSD-inspired question "Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?" with an unforgettable image of a seemingly fragile and isolated blue planet, Nature editor Oliver Morton -- author of a new book on photosynthesis called Eating the Sun -- disputes the notion that the Earth is fragile and isolated. "The fragility is an illusion," he writes. "The planet Earth is a remarkably robust thing, and this strength flows from its ancient and intimate connection to the cosmos beyond. To see the photo this way does not undermine its environmental relevance -- but it does recast it."
posted by digaman at 9:01 AM PST - 39 comments

Merry Christmas Sam Jackson!
In 1974, John Henry Faulk told NPR a Christmas Story.
posted by timsteil at 7:56 AM PST - 6 comments

For Ourselves and Our Posterity
Inauguration 2009 Sermons and Orations Project The Library of Congress invites you to submit digital audio or video recordings of speeches made between January 16 and january 25, 2009 on the occasion of Barack Obama's inauguration. The speeches will be archived in a collection for future scholarship, much like the Day of Infamyand other collections capturing signifcant American moments.
posted by Miko at 7:54 AM PST - 7 comments

Santa Claus is Coming to Town...
Since 1955 NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) has been tracking Santa's Christmas trek around the globe by way of radar, satellites, fighter jets and now Santa Cams. In addition to tracking via Google Maps, you can also follow his journey in 3D via Google Earth. Also, be sure to check the Santa Cams which capture video of the places he's already visited on his trip. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 7:43 AM PST - 27 comments

It's that time again.
Coming February 3, 2009.... It's time for the next big wintertime memoir scandal.... ...and Oprah is not going to be amused. [more inside]
posted by availablelight at 7:41 AM PST - 52 comments

WHY DO YOU HATE ME, GOD?
Popdose presents: The Worst Christmas Music Ever: Mellowmas 2 Manilowmas 3Jarreaumas 4 Sarajevomas...? 5 A Little River Christmas 6 Boltonmas! 7 Scatmas! 8 Tuxedomas 9 Fats? 10 The Singing Saw at Mellowmas Time 11 A New Jack Mellowmas 12 A Very New Kids Arseniomas 13 Hayo! Haya! 14 Sweet Little Andymas 15 Dollytoe 16 Into the Ear of Mellowmas Madness 17 Mellowmas Goes South 18 The Unimaginable Mellowmas 19 Archiemas! 20 VERGISSMEINNICHT!! 21 Sedakamas 22 Double Duvall! 23 Liberace and the Christmas Vest 24 Mellowmas Eve
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:55 AM PST - 18 comments

BMJ Christmas Issue
Every year the British Medical Journal publishes a less-than-serious Christmas edition. [more inside]
posted by alby at 6:49 AM PST - 11 comments

The Queen of Beatles Spouses?
The Oriental Nightfish. A Chanukah/Christmas gift of sorts. "Listening to Linda proceed tunelessly through "Endless Days" (she "sings" the "song" the way that Ken Lay "protected employees" or Ryan Leaf "quarterbacked") is an experience to be treasured, if by treasured you mean buried in a chest by pirates."
posted by Xurando at 6:23 AM PST - 10 comments

Air traffic control simulator
Push tin with ATC-SIM, an air traffic control simulator.
posted by nthdegx at 3:19 AM PST - 31 comments